Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Such as I Have Give I Thee
During this precarious economic time, money is an endangered species, perhaps extinct for some. I've read Acts 3 several times. Catie loves to sing the song, "Peter and John went to pray . . . Silver and Gold have I none, but such as I have give I thee. . . And he went walking and leaping and praising God." Anyway it's something along those lines. I've always focused on what Peter and John gave the beggar.
Today, my focus is more on what Peter and John gave. I know I've walked into temple square, especially during Christmas time, with my head down hoping that I won't be asked for any spare change. Most of the time when I've been asked, I reply that I don't have anything. A few times I've given a nickle or quarter or whatever is in my pocket. How does that compare with what this beggar received from Peter and John. Not only does he now have a chance to make an honest living, but he enters the temple and receives the warmth it offers him.
Catie told me the other day that one of the things she hates most is when she has the means to help someone, but she can't help them because they won't accept it. She proceeded to explain that she feels bad when she sees someone in trouble, but she doesn't have the means to help, but not as bad as when she has the means and they won't accept help. After reflecting on this scripture, I wonder how often we really don't have the means to help people. Obviously, we don't have the monetary means to help. As I explained in an earlier post, we've gotten ourselves in a bit of a financial bind by trying to help when we didn't have the means. But, can we still give such as we have?
One example Catie gave of someone she couldn't help is a car that is broken down. She is not a mechanic and usually, they already have a cell phone out. However, is there something that she could give? Perhaps some encouragement through some friendly conversation while they wait for some additional help? What about those beggars in front of temple square? We could follow the example of Peter and John and bring them into the temple (figuratively speaking); however, if they are sitting outside temple square I'm guessing that they already know about the church. Again, we may not be able to give them money, but is there something we can give that will lighten their load. Sometimes all it takes is a friendly conversation to let people know they are important if that's all we have.
I know this is something I need to work on, but these are my thoughts on the phrase, "Such as I have give I thee."
As a side note, it's interesting that just two chapters later, Luke tells us of Ananias and Sapphira who sell their land to give the money to the church, but keep a portion of the money for themselves. When Peter questions them about it, they lie and then lie dead. This makes an interesting juxtaposition when you consider Peter and John who give such as they have to a lame beggar, but these people who attempt to serve the All-powerful God can only give a portion of what they have.